Fig Tree wins auction for Emma Hooper debut

Fig Tree wins auction for Emma Hooper debut

In a major deal ahead of London Book Fair, Fig Tree has won a five-way publisher auction for debut novel Etta and Otto and Russel and James by Emma Hooper, signing a six-figure deal.

Publishing director Juliet Annan bought UK rights from Cathryn Summerhayes at WME, in the novel which is set in rural Canada.

International deals have also already been signed, with US rights sold to MarySue Rucci at Simon & Schuster in a six-figure pre-empt; German rights sold to Annette Weber at Droemer in a "major" six-figure pre-empt; and Canadian rights snapped up by Nicole Winstanley at Penguin Canada in a five-figure pre-empt.

Summerhayes described the novel as "a novel of pilgrimage, of fulfilling lifelong promises, of a talking coyote called James, of unlikely heroes and of hundreds of papier-mache animals . . . Rocking back and forth with the pull of the waves, Etta and Otto and Russel and James moves from the hot and dry present of a too-quiet for too-long Canadian farm to a dusty burnt past of hunger, war, passion and hope, from trying to remember to trying to forget, as, from prairie to forest to mountain to sand, Etta walks".

Canadian Hooper is currently a research-lecturer at Bath Spa University, in the commercial music department. She performs on viola, and as an author has published a number of short stories, non-fiction pieces, poetry and libretti.